Keith Ware

Group Devel­op­ment Di­rec­tor Dalziel and Pow

VM&RD - - WHAT'S IN STORE? INTERNATIONAL DESIGNER -

In Ret­ro­spect: 2012

In­dia has been very much in a con­cil­ia­tory mode in 2012, with very lit­tle change in the re­tail land­scape. The power of the 'youth' and the ris­ing ed­u­cated mid­dle classes have en­er­gized some of the home grown In­dian re­tail­ers in youth ap­parel who are ad­dress­ing this op­por­tu­nity, try­ing to cap­ture and build on their cur­rent mar­ket share, by in­vest­ing in new de­sign con­cepts. Cost is fore­most in the minds of our In­dian clients. The chal­lenge has been to de­liver qual­ity projects in In­dia match­ing an in­ter­na­tional stan­dard, and which are also rel­e­vant and af­ford­able to the In­dian mar­ket. We have been work­ing hard to com­bine our in­ter­na­tional cre­ativ­ity and re­tail ex­pe­ri­ence with the knowl­edge and ex­per­tise of our lo­cal part­ners to im­prove our ef­fi­ciency and client ser­vic­ing.

Ar­rival of FDI

The value of de­sign is cru­cial in the strate­gic over­view lo­cal brands will need to take to en­sure they are ready to re­spond to the in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion. In­ter­na­tional brands are al­ready used to deal­ing with the best global de­sign agen­cies and won't be look­ing for this ser­vice lo­cally. Where they will strug­gle is in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of their schemes to an ac­cept­able stan­dard in In­dia. They will need lo­cal 'de­sign adap­ta­tion' and im­ple­men­ta­tion agen­cies, who un­der­stand their brand and how best to de­liver it in the In­dian mar­ket. In­evitably, price will al­ways be a dif­fer­en­tia­tor and lo­cal brands will be bet­ter po­si­tioned to of­fer value for money in this re­spect. In­ter­na­tional brands will al­ways strug­gle to im­port prod­ucts to mar­ket that are cost sen­si­tive.

Look­ing Ahead: 2013

In­dian re­tail­ers need to un­der­stand and pro­mote their brands bet­ter to en­sure they have a dif­fer­en­ti­ated prod­uct of­fer and a unique propo­si­tion and tone of voice. They need to re­main con­sumer cen­tric, and in­vest in ser­vices and of­fers that sup­port the cus­tomer jour­ney and ex­pe­ri­ence. They should em­ploy dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy to pro­mote and sup­port the of­fer with web, apps and in­ter­ac­tive in­store ex­pe­ri­ences, sup­ported by first class vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ing and point of sale to sup­port the prod­uct of­fer.

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